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By: Kristin Daugherty, Long-Term Care Planner, Certified Medicaid Planner™

I have read a few articles lately that are circulating the internet about living on a cruise ship or hotel instead of a nursing home. I’ll tell you, it’s an interesting concept – living in luxury, being waited on, and possibly traveling the world at the same time – why not?

In 2019, the average cost of a nursing home in Pennsylvania was $342.58 per day or $10,420.14 per month! I did some research of my own and the average nightly cost of a hotel in Pennsylvania is around $100. A cruise ship is a bit more with an average nightly cost of $150. For between $3,000 - $4,500 you can live your golden years traveling across the ocean or trying out different hotels. Sounds great, so what are we missing?

Julieanne E. Steinbacher, CELA*, was interviewed for a recent issue of The Elder Law Report, a trade association publication for elder law practitioners from across the country. During the interview, Julie discussed the aspects of a dementia-focused practice and why it’s important for elder law attorneys to recognize and meet the legal planning needs of dementia patients.

A dementia-focused practice will guide the client with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia through the disease’s stages, leaving no stone unturned. A comprehensive, team approach will plan for long-term care expenses, educate on behavioral interventions and how to combat caregiver stress, protect against financial exploitation, and utilize social workers who can connect the client with community resources. Examples of resources include books and educational brochures available through the Alzheimer’s Association’s website (www.alz.org) and the latest, innovative products that make life with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia more manageable (i.e. doorbell alerts, monitor bracelets, memory phones, etc.).

By Kristin Daugherty, Long-Term Care Planner, Certified Medicaid Planner™, Certified Dementia Practioner®

Let’s face it, not many of us deal well with change. If you are like me, I always jump right to the negative aspects of the upcoming change and start to panic. So, when Pennsylvania announced that they were converting to a new long-term care Medicaid program, I instantly thought about how this change could affect people and their medical services.

If you have spent any amount of time with me, you know I am passionate about my job and helping everyone who comes into our office. This is the reason that I have devoted a great deal of time to learning about the recent changes to long-term care Medicaid. Through webinars, seminars, and phone calls with counties that were first enrolled in Community Health Choices (CHC), I have been able to learn about the good, the bad, and the ugly of CHC. Here is what you need to know.

CHC is a managed care program that will insure all Pennsylvania residents who are “dual eligible” (eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid) and need services in a nursing home or through the Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL). All dual eligible recipients must enroll in CHC with one of the three health plans that are contracted through the State of Pennsylvania; UPMC CHC, PA Health & Wellness, and Keystone First (aka AmeriHealth). Each of these health care plans contract with nursing homes, in-home care providers, and primary care physicians to meet your health care needs.

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